From the Chicago Tribune:
A local developer who needed zoning changes to clear the way for a lucrative project on one of the city's largest pieces of undeveloped land took the age-old Chicago approach: bribing an alderman, authorities say.
Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th), a longtime ally of Mayor Richard Daley, was indicted Thursday on charges he accepted $40,000 in home improvements in 2004, as well as meals and tickets to a White Sox playoff game for supporting the zoning changes. Also charged was developer Calvin Boender, who transformed a 50-acre former rail yard -- much of it in Carothers' West Side ward -- into a residential and commercial project known as Galewood Yards.
Carothers is the second alderman in two years to be charged criminally for taking payoffs from developers. Former Ald. Arenda Troutman (20th) pleaded guilty last fall to demanding bribes from builders, making her the 27th Chicago alderman convicted of wrongdoing since 1972.
Court documents unsealed yesterday reveal that Carothers has admitted to the corruption. He has been wearing a wire for the feds since 2008:
"Public Official A [Carothers] has been cooperating with the investigation since approximately April 2008. Along with admitting his conduct and agreeing to testify, Public Official A has been consensually recording conversations with individuals suspected of engaging in ongoing criminal conduct. These recorded conversations include meetings Public Official A has had with other public officials and real estate developers. The government expects Public Official A to continue this cooperation into late May 2009." -- WGN
Carothers, a Democrat, joins a long list of Chicago aldermen who have been indicted for corruption by federal prosecutors (30 since the 1970s). And, like former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who failed to absorb the lessons of three former Illinois governors convicted by the feds, Carothers is a slow learner. In the early 1980s, Carothers's father, former Alderman William Carothers, served time for corruption.